The Best Calisthenics Ab Workout (In Under 10 Minutes)

Young determined man training alone on street sports ground in sunny day

Searching for a simple ab routine you can add to the end of your workout? Look no further! In under 15 minutes, you can get the sculpted and toned midsection of your dreams – just by using calisthenics.

This article will provide you with the benefits of training abs, different abs exercises, and how to piece together a calisthenics ab workout perfect for you and your goals.

If that sounds interesting, let’s get right to it!

Why Do We Train Our Abs?

Having a strong core not only helps with physical performance but also has numerous health benefits.

  • Improved core strength

  • Increased athletic performance

  • Reduced risk of lower back pain

  • Enhanced overall appearance

  • Improved posture

  • Improved balance and coordination

  • Improve flexibility and mobility

The list goes on for the benefits of strengthening your abs.

By doing core exercises like the ones listed in this article, you’ll help improve other exercises like the deadlift, bench press, squat, etc.

The Best Calisthenics Ab Exercises



calisthenics ab workout

Aside from improving core strength and toning your midsection, planking has numerous benefits for overall health and fitness.

  • Increase muscle endurance

  • Improve balance and stability

  • Enhance posture and body alignment

  • Full body exercise

Planking also engages the transversus abdominis, a deep abdominal muscle that helps support your spine’s natural curve and prevents lower back pain.

To perform a plank, follow these steps:

  1. Begin in a push-up position, with your forearms planted into the floor shoulder-width apart and aligned under your shoulders.

  2. Engage your core by drawing your belly button towards your spine and squeezing the glutes for stability.

  3. Keep your back flat and avoid arching or rounding it to maintain proper alignment.

  1. Hold the position for a time, gradually increasing the duration as you build strength and endurance.

Too difficult?

Try holding a standard push-up position with your hands on the floor instead.


Perform a plank with your hands against a wall or elevated surface to decrease the intensity.

Too easy?

Try adding a weighted vest or a weight plate to increase the intensity.

Hanging Leg Raises

hanging leg raises

In addition to planking, another effective exercise for core strength is the hanging leg raise.

This exercise targets the abdominals, hip flexors, and obliques while also improving grip strength and stability in the shoulders and upper body.

To perform a hanging leg raise:

  1. Hang onto a pull-up bar with an overhand grip (palms away from you) and your arms straight.

  2. Engage your core and bring your legs up towards your chest till your body makes an L-shape, keeping them straight.

  3. Slowly lower your legs back down to the starting position without swinging or using momentum.

  4. Repeat for the desired number of repetitions.

Tips for performing hanging leg raises:

  • Control your legs on the way back down and engage your core to avoid lower back pain

  • To engage your core, suck your belly button into your spine

  • Work on grip strength if you find your grip giving out before your abs

Too difficult?

Try bending your knees when you raise your legs up. (Bring your knees toward your chest)

Too easy?

Try holding the L position for 1-3 seconds before lowering your legs back down.


Perform the next exercise.


toe to bar

The toe-to-bar exercise is another variation of the hanging leg raise that specifically targets the lower abdominal muscles.

This exercise also requires a high level of core stability and control, making it a challenging but effective movement for building strength and coordination.

To perform a toe to bar:

  1. Hang onto a pull-up bar with an overhand grip (palms away from you) and your arms straight.

  2. Engage your core and bring your toes up towards the bar similar to a standard hanging leg raise.

  3. Once your legs reach an L, rotate your hips toward the ceiling and reach your toes to the bar.

  4. Slowly lower your legs back down to the starting position without swinging or using momentum keeping your legs as straight as possible.

  5. Repeat for the desired number of repetitions.

Tips for performing the toe-to-bar:

  • As weird as it sounds, to rotate your hips in this exercise, just imagine you have to show your ass to the sky or someone in front of you. (This will help your legs reach the bar if you don’t have the flexibility)

  • Repeat the same tips as hanging leg raises

Too difficult?

Regress back to hanging leg raises.

Too easy?

Slow down the pace of lowering your legs.


Add a weight vest to increase the intensity for grip strength.


The L-sit exercise is another challenging but effective movement for building core strength and stability. It also requires a high level of shoulder, tricep, and hip flexor strength.

To perform an L-sit:

  1. Sit on the ground with your legs outstretched and your hands placed on the ground next to your hips. (It can help to use parallettes)

  2. Engage your core and press down through your palms as you lift your body off of the ground, keeping your legs straight and parallel to the ground.

  3. Hold this position for a desired amount of time, maintaining proper form throughout.

Tips for performing an L-sit:

  • Keeping your shoulders down and away from your ears

  • Engaging your core and pulling your belly button toward your spine

  • Make sure your legs are parallel to the ground

  • Avoiding any swinging or momentum from the hips or legs

  • Keeping a slight bend in your elbows to avoid strain on the joints

Too difficult?

Try bending your knees and tucking your legs in towards your chest, known as a tuck sit. (This can help build strength and progress towards doing a full L-sit.)

Too easy?

Try hanging from a bar to do the L-sit.

Calisthenics Ab Workout Routine Examples

Disclaimer: Although we are licesned personal trainers, we are not doctors or physical therapsits. The information in this article and in this blog are used for informational purposes only and should not be treated as medical advice or prescription to fix any medical issues your may be experiencing.

Here are a few ways to incorporate each exercise for a particular goals you might have. These can be done after a workout routine or even as a stand-alone day.

If you want a stronger core:

L-sits 3-4 sets till failure (or time)
Planks1-2 sets for time

(Increase time by 5 seconds each week to progress)

If you want 6-pack abs*:

Toe-to-bar3 sets of 8-10
Hanging Leg Raises3 sets of 8-10

Although exercising abdominal muscles can increase the size of your abs, a healthy diet plan with a lower enough body fat percentage will be the biggest factor for revelaing your 6-pack.

These are just some common examples of goals but mix up the exercises however you like throughout the week after doing your primary workout routine.

Final Thoughts

The takeaway from this is that, with a bit of dedication and effort, anyone can do calisthenics ab workouts. While the workout we suggested isn’t suitable for everyone, it CAN be tailored to fit an individual’s needs!

A good rule of thumb when starting such a routine is to ease into it, as sudden jolts of exercise can cause strains or even injuries.

However, over time one will find their body changing in wonderful ways – with increased core strength aiding them in everyday activities.

So go ahead and give it a shot –ideally 3 to 4 times per week– and you will soon enjoy all the benefits that come along with having toned and tight abs. As always, stay safe while exercising!

Similar Posts